A Simple Change of Focus

What we looked at in the last post can make an immediate impact in nearly every scenario but if we really want to build a culture of effective communication skills in the workplace, we may need to make a simple change in what we focus on…

We live in a world of constant pressure to perform and achieve results. Truth be told, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing! I believe that’s how we build a strong self image and earn a fair wage. The challenge that comes with that lies in how this can impact our approach to so many of the most critical conversations we have with the people around us - the people we work with AND the people we’re responsible for leading!

When we adapt the pace we use to match the other person, we’ve made a big step toward putting together a message they can more easily receive. But depending on what we’re focused on, our pace may only play a small part in the overall result!

I don’t remember where I first...

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Who’s Setting the Pace?

I closed the last post with a promise to share the two most powerful things I’ve learned over the past five years as I’ve studied the DISC Model of Human Behavior. It just so happens that these two are also incredibly simple to understand and just as easy to apply! Just think about how much more we could all get accomplished if everything worked that way!

Let’s start by digging into the one that we can almost always SEE within the first few seconds we’re around someone, even if we’ve never interacted with them before.

We’re all wired a certain way right out of the factory. In most cases, we can begin to tell whether a child is more Outgoing or more Reserved by the time they’re two or three years old. There are certainly some times where this isn’t just glaringly obvious and there will be some situations that cause each of us to respond differently than we normally would. But in the vast majority of the scenarios we each face on a daily...

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Simple Action Beats Stagnant Brilliance

When Cindy and I received an invitation to contribute a chapter for Discover Your Team’s Potential: Proven Principles to Help Engage Your Team & Improve Performance, I was a little bit intimidated at first. Several of the others involved with medical doctors, PhD’s, and high level executives in large organizations. I initially wondered what a high school push-out with only hands-on experience in building teams and teaching communication skills in practical settings could contribute to a real book that was going to be printed - and eventually achieve best-seller status. Not one to pass up an opportunity, I agreed for both of us and the rest is history - kind of…

In the last post, we started looking at the importance of communication skills in the workplace. During the decade or so I was training people across North America on the principles of behavior-based safety, I studied a lot of different approaches to communicating more effectively. Not only did the way...

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Nothing More, Nothing Less!

Whether it’s what we intend or not, the message we send someone is a huge part of why effective communication is so important! If we want strong relationships that yield overall happy lives, we have to be very intentional about delivering a message the person we’re interacting with can receive rather than just what we want or need to get across. As I shared with a few examples last time, this is often far easier said than done BUT it can become very simple when we apply the right tools

Effective communication is important to each of us every single day. But guess who has the most to gain (or lose) when it comes to answering the Why is Effective Communication Important? Question…

Since I’m not nearly as patient as Cindy wishes I would be, I’ll just answer that question for you! Anyone who’s accepted leadership responsibility has a tremendous amount to gain or to lose from the energy they invest into each message they share. For the last...

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Why Is Effective Communication Important?

Since we recently worked through some of the most effective communication skills, including the critical part active listening plays in that, let’s press forward now and take a look at why effective communication is so important in everything we do.

If you read more than a few of these posts or you’ve been through some of the sessions Cindy and I have hosted, you’ve likely heard me explain the most powerful lesson I ever learned about communication - and you probably remember that I learned it from a veterinarian! I won’t take the time to detail that again here but it’s a great analogy so you’re welcome to reach out if you haven’t heard it…

Just a few weeks ago, Cindy took her dad to an eye doctor appointment. Those had previously been at a VA Clinic nearly two hours away but she was able to get an exception approved allowing him to be seen locally since he can no longer drive (safely) and she’s nearly always to one who takes...

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Listening, Not Just Hearing...

In the last post, I mentioned one thing I saw mentioned in every article I dug into as being essential to developing effective communication skills; listening. There was certainly a point in time where I would have argued that idea but I’d like to think my head isn’t in that part of my body all that often anymore… In fact, Cindy and I stress how important listening for building influence is as a leader in multiple spots of our Emerging Leader Development course.

First, consider just how much effective listening can impact the influence someone in a leadership role earns with us… Here’s where we draw the line between a person who has authority over us and a person we’re willing to follow! The person who’s simply in charge can probably get away with bark demands without paying any attention whatsoever to what’s on our minds - at least for a little while. Sooner or later, most of us will have had a belly full of that. The one who...

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Simple to Understand, Simple to Apply!

Over the last decade or so, I’ve heard dozens of pitches on how the latest, greatest thing will change my life! Watch any info-mmercial and you’re likely to feel like you’re losing money if you don’t buy in the 10 minutes - even if that fancy contraption has no place at all in your life… Along the lines of the example I used in the last post about how my plain old hammer drives nails far better than the most amazing cordless circular saw on the market, great features don’t matter much when they have nothing to do with the task we need to accomplish!

When it comes to effective communication skills, there are just about as many magic pills being pitched to solve that issue as there are info-mmercials! An internet search of the term effective communication skills yields all kinds of solutions - at a cost of course… You’ll see things like “Top 10 Skills to Learn...” or “5 Hacks to Develop…” and so on. ...

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Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills is a frequently searched phrase on Google. But why? What’s the big deal? Shouldn’t this be simple to address?

I frequently reference a study done by Salesforce.com that showed “86% of the executives they surveyed cited lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reason for workplace failure.” That seems like a big deal to me! I read another study done by SIS International Research showing that “the cumulative cost of annual productivity losses due to communication issues alone were more than $26,000 per employee.”

If this were indeed something simple to address, would these numbers really be so high? At the risk of confirming any suspicion you may have about how dense I actually am, I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that it’s extremely simple - and that’s why so many individuals and organizations struggle mightily with it!

I began learning carpentry when I was around...

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Don’t Just Get It Right, Get It Correct!

Before we close the loop on what we can do to exceed expectations for the folks with the final primary behavioral, I’m going to insert a quick plug for the complimentary session Cindy and I are hosting on Friday, Feb 12 at 2:30p on How Top Leaders Set the Tone for Recruitment & Retention. Whether you have a SHRM or HRCI credential that you can use the approved continuing education for or not, the only reason I can imagine this not being a relevant topic would be that you just don’t mind hemorrhaging money due to turnover. And if that’s the case, no worries at all. But if that topic will be of any value, here’s the link to register at no cost

Now, let’s look at some things we can be sure to do to really exceed expectations when we’re serving the 25% of the population who are Reserved and Task-Oriented; our more CAUTIOUS friends…

While the folks who have this CONTEMPLATIVE style will approach things with a slower pace, it’s...

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Just be Nice...

As I closed the last post, I referenced one primary difference between the folks with either of the last two styles we looked at and these final two styles we’ll be working through; the need to tone it down a bit as we work to exceed their expectations…

Before going too far with the style we’ll focus on today, let me stress that there’s not one right or wrong primary style. Well, I suppose that’s not completely accurate. There’s definitely a right style for me and a right style for you, and that’s the unique style blend we have. This should never be about making someone feel like they need to change into something they’re not; it’s about gaining an understanding of who we are and how we’re wired AND being able to recognize the behavioral styles of the people we interact with so we can serve them at an even deeper level.

Now let’s get to how just being nice can help us exceed expectations when we’re serving some...

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